Amaravati, May 18 (PTI): Depleting reserves at different steel plants, coupled with inclement weather conditions, are pushing Andhra Pradesh towards a possible oxygen scarcity in the next few days, though things now look comfortable.
Sensing the impending crisis, AP is now looking towards neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka for enhanced quota of oxygen from various plants in those states to meet the growing needs.
Simultaneously, the state is requesting the Centre to allot one Oxygen Express to transport 80 tonnes of medical oxygen daily from the Jamnagar steel plant in Gujarat.
The Centre allotted 590 tonnes of oxygen to AP while the average consumption per day has touched 610 tonnes.
Health department authorities estimated that the state would require 800 tonnes of oxygen per day by May 20.
Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited, the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, which is now supplying up to 170 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen to the state, is expected to dispense only 100 tonnes per day in the next couple of days.
'This is due to reserve stock depletion (at RINL),' a top official told PTI.
'There is also heavy stock depletion at the plants in Odisha while there are long queues of Oxygen Express trains (posing challenges in movement of oxygen),' the official said.
The official said they were facing issues in airlifting (empty) oxygen tankers to Odisha and other places due to bad weather conditions.
The Centre has allotted 35 tonnes of oxygen to AP from two plants in Tamil Nadu and 63 tonnes from Karnataka.
The state now wants the quota enhanced to 60 and 110 tonnes respectively.
'Increase in supplies from Tamil Nadu is most crucial to manage the needs in SPS Nellore and Chittoor districts. Likewise, enhanced supply is crucial to address the rise in demand in Kadapa, Kurnool and Anantapuramu districts,' the official noted.
In the last three days, the state got an additional 180 tonnes of LMO from Durgapur, Jamshedpur and Jamnagar in three Oxygen Express trains.
'We have drawn a total of 620 tonnes of oxygen from different sources.Though Gujarat is hit by cyclone, an Oxygen Express carrying four tankers (80 tonnes) has started from Jamnagar, which is expected to reach here by tomorrow night.
Two more tankers (40 tonnes) have been dispatched from Rourkela today,' Principal Secretary (Health) Anil Kumar Singhal said.
Another four tankers with 80 tonnes of oxygen would start tomorrow, he said.
'As of now, we have a surplus of about 30 tonnes and if Oxygen Express trains come, the situation will ease,' Anil added.PTI DBV BN BALA BN BALA